Happy Labor Day and welcome to the latest installation of the Dogma of the Week. The topic I will be discussing for this blogpost will be about foam rollers and discussing whether the effects of a foam roller do enough to help correct dysfunction.
Foam rollers happen to be the most popular of all Myofascial Release tools in use today. When I first stepped into the fitness industry and was introduced to Myofascial Release, this was the first tool I used. I found it to be quite effective in inflicting a great amount of pain with the extreme dysfunctions I had built throughout my life cycle up until that moment. However, as I continued I began to notice the effects of releasing bound up muscular tissue going away and my imbalances still staying present in the process. It wasn’t til this given point that I began to understand that the foam roller wasn’t cutting it for my Myofascial Release needs.
After using a foam roller to no avail, I then began to explore other avenues that would help bring my body to it’s full functional potential. It’s this period where I began to discover tools that were much more effective for Myofascial Release. I approached Medicine Balls, Tennis Balls, Theracanes, Softballs, Baseballs, Trigger-point therapy tools, theracanes, sticks, han bo’s, along with many other random objects I could release my knots on.
Here are the tools that made the final cut in my Myofascial Release aresnal:
1.) Cap/Valeo Medicine Ball- I found this to be the direct replacement to the foam roller. It’s great for the lower extremities around the femur.
2.) Lacrosse Ball- The most versatile and most bang for your buck product out on the market for Myofascial Release. I often use this tool for the release of muscles to help correct lumbo pelvic dysfunction.
3.) Theracane- Although I was once skeptical about this product for Myofascial Release, I tried it one day and began experimenting with it and soon put it in my purchase list. I find the theracane to be the best tool for cervicle spin dysfunction.
4.) Han bo/stick- A great tool I often use for rotator cuff flexibility. Another use I put with this tool is for the release of the IT bands along with the quadriceps.
Keep in mind that all of these tools have their individual benefits and that neither can replace the other. I strongly urge you to make investments on each of these products so that you can unlock the full potential your body is capable of achieving. Myofascial release is at the pillar of what I do in my holistic movement practice and must be done routinely to effectively move with economy.
Here’s a video of me breaking down the foam roller and why it may not be the best tool for Myofascial Release, and also breaking down the alternatives to the foam roller. Enjoy!!!